Venezuela is ready to repair relations with the US if they will be based on dialogue and mutual respect, Venezuela’s president Nicolas Maduro said in his speech before the National Constituent Assembly that has been broadcasted by the Venezolana de Television (VTV) TV channel.

“I believe in the diplomacy and, from the stand of this great National Constituent Assembly, confirm to President Donald Trump my desire to restore political relations based on dialogue, trust and the principles of equity,” he said.

According to Maduro, it is not Trump, but “the mafia lobby headed by [US Senator from Florida] Marco Rubio and [Republican US Representative from Florida] Mario Diaz-Balart” that shape Washington’s current policy towards the region’s countries. “[Trump’s] hands are tied, and Marco Rubio impresses on him all decisions on Latin America, Venezuela, Cuba and Nicaragua,” the head of state said.

At the same time, Maduro stressed that “Venezuela will never give up” and will fight for its freedom to the last.

The establishment of the National Constituent Assembly was met with disapproval by the global community. A number of Latin American countries stated that they did not recognize the vote results, and the US called the election to the constituent body “a strike over democracy across the world” and imposed sanctions against Maduro. On Wednesday, the US Department of the Treasury declared expansion of sanctions lists, adding eight people to it, including the assembly’s member Adan Chavez. Caracas denounced these sanctions.

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